A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are We Looking at an "I'm More Nasser Than You Are!" Campaign?

Is there such a word as "Nasserer" or is it just "more Nasser"?

While Egypt's third Presidential contender is running on a "war with Ethiopia" platform (which would seem to raise some logistical issues, especially in Sudan and Eritrea), the other two candidates are running on which one of them is actually Gamal Abdel Nasser. Anthony Eden and John Foster Dulles, be grateful you didn't live to see this. (Maybe include Anwar Sadat, too.)

Hamdeen Sabahi, who ran third back in 2012, calls himself a Nasserist and a socialist, an ideological twin of the late President. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, sometime Field Marshal (though Nasser never promoted himself above colonel), and though Sisi never served in a war, promotes himself as a Nasser-style savior of the nation whether in uniform or track suit, and has the sunglasses thing down to a science. As Sarah Carr noted:

Paul Mutter has noted something similar at The Arabist.

So far we have two Nassers and a foul-mouthed lunatic (though I didn't mention  Mortada Mansour's penchant for profanity before, it's a standing joke in Egypt.).

Egyptians: Vote for the Nasser of your choice, but vote!

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